Costco Kirkland Signature Beef Bulgogi Review

You have to give Costco credit for how adventurous and geographically diverse it is with its pre-made meal creations in the deli section. While the dishes might not always be the most authentic, they clearly try to draw inspiration from different parts of the world in creating them. This Kirkland Signature Bulgogi Beef is a Korean-themed entrée. It’s one of the pricier offerings in the pre-made deli section and it doesn’t include any side dishes; you’ll need to figure those out for yourself. That might make it a bit of a tough sell for some people. Read on to find out if it’s worth the splurge and the extra effort.

Top down image of the package of the Costco Kirkland Signature Beef Bulgogi sitting on a table.
Costco Kirkland Signature Beef Bulgogi.

My favorite pre-made meals from Costco are the Kirkland Signature Enchilada Bake, Kirkland Signature Quinoa Salad, Kirkland Signature Seasoned Chicken Wings, Kirkland Signature Four Cheese and Spinach Manicotti, Kirkland Signature Lasagna, Kirkland Signature Chicken Tacos, Kirkland Signature Chicken Pot Pie and the Kirkland Signature Greek Style Gyro Pitas.

Location in Store

This is located in the deli / pre-made meal section at Costco. The item number is 43528.

Top down image of the beef bulgogi package with the lid off prior to cooking.
Before cooking.


My biggest fear from looking at the tray of Beef Bulgogi was the quality of the meat, and unfortunately that turned out to be the biggest issue with this dish. It’s very hit-and-miss.

Top down image of the beef bulgogi cooked and served over a bed of noodles.
I paired my Beef Bulgogi with rice ramen noodles.

The good pieces are tender and flavorful, but you’ll encounter a lot of fatty and gristly pieces. I don’t think I had a bad batch; all of the ones in the cooler looked pretty much the same.

Top down image of a full plate of cooked beef bulgogi.
Ready to eat!

When you get a good piece of meat, this is a pretty enjoyable entree. The best pieces are tender and juicy, and there’s plenty of sauce in the tray, so it’s loaded with flavor. The first thing I noticed taste-wise is the sweetness.

This is definitely a sweet barbecue sauce, but not in a bad way. The taste of soy sauce stands out too, and it adds a saltiness that complements the sweet flavor well.

Side view image of a piece of beef bulgogi on a fork with a plate of bulgogi and noodles in the background.
The good pieces are tasty but the fat and gristle is not.

While I enjoyed the good pieces, I couldn’t help but wonder if there might be a better way to prepare the beef. I pretty much followed the instructions (aside from cooking my beef for much longer than the recommended one minute per side), but I wondered if it might have turned out a lot better if it were cooked in a very hot cast iron skillet or on grill.

Side view image of a plate of cooked beef bulgogi served on top of some noodles.
It doesn’t look that appetizing.

I imagine either method (but especially the grill) would be tricky as the beef would probably stick, but cooking a barbecue dish at medium-high heat in a non-stick pan just doesn’t seem right to me!

Side view image of a plate of cooked beef bulgogi served on top of some noodles.
You could also serve this with Japchae noodles.

I struggled a bit to decide how to serve my Costco Bulgogi Beef. I ended up keeping things fairly simple and putting it on top of a bed of Lotus Foods Rice Ramen, which seemed to work okay. Some type of vegetable would have been a nice addition though.


This isn’t cheap at all and unfortunately, I have to say the bulgogi is not worth the price. The unit price for the beef is $22.99 Canadian per kilogram and my tray costs $34.39 Canadian.

Closeup image of the front label for the bulgogi showing the best before date and cost.
My tray cost $34.39 Canadian at Costco.


This isn’t a convenient meal. Even if you have a big non-stick pan, you’re probably going to need to split your beef into at least two batches. You’re also going to need to figure out sides.

Image of the cooking instructions for the bulgogi.
Cooking instructions.

I cooked my beef in a non-stick pan on medium-high heat like the instructions said to, but I cooked it for much longer than the instructions said to (probably about ten minutes per batch, flipping period). Some pieces got a little bit of caramelization, but more would have been better. I could have cooked it in smaller batches, but it would’ve taken a long time.

Top down image of the beef bulgogi in a frying pan before cooking it.
Ready to cook.

Like I said, I struggled a bit with what to serve my Beef Bulgogi with. I read Japchae noodles are a popular side for it. I didn’t have those, but I did have the ramen noodles and they seemed close enough. Please don’t judge me!

Top down image of cooked beef bulgogi in a frying pan beside a boiling pot of water with noodles in it.
Noodles and bulgogi.

The Beef Bulgogi needs to be kept refrigerated and the best-before date is five days from when it was packaged.



One-fifth of the tray contains 420 calories, 16 grams of fat, 33 grams of carbohydrates, three grams of fibre, 25 grams of sugar, 38 grams of protein and 1610 milligrams of sodium. That’s a ton of sodium and sugar!


The ingredients list has some things listed I’ve never seen before such as aspergillus oryzae, which I found out is a fungus used in Japanese fermentation to make things like soy sauce. I don’t love that the second ingredient is sugar but based on how sweet this tastes, it’s not surprising.

If this had some vegetables in it, it’d be a lot healthier. The bulgogi contains wheat, soy and sesame. It may contain eggs, milk, fish, molluscs, crustaceans, tree nuts, peanuts, mustard and sulfites.

Image of the ingredients list for the beef bulgogi.


Taste: 5/10

Cost: 4/10

Convenience: 4/10

Nutrition: 2/10 (Points for being high in protein).


Walk on by!

My dad was the only one who enjoyed this out of four of us. I don’t like the fat and gristle or how sweet this beef is. I can’t excuse the low-quality beef at this price point.

Have you tried this Costco Beef Bulgogi? What did you think of it?

Please note that this review was not paid for or sponsored by any third party. This product was purchased by Costcuisine for the purpose of producing this review. The opinions in this review are strictly those of Costcuisine. Costcuisine is not affiliated with Costco or any of its suppliers. In the event that Costcuisine receives compensation for a post from the manufacturer of a product or some other third party, the arrangement will be clearly disclosed (including where the manufacturer of a product provides Costcuisine with a free sample of the product).

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15 thoughts on “Costco Kirkland Signature Beef Bulgogi Review”

  1. I live in Jacksonville Florida and out locations have stopped selling this. My family loved this on a bed of white rice. We used a large square deep non stick pan with a lid and had no issues cooking an amount that worked for the entire family. Usually one and a half containers. You just turn the heat to medium and stir a few times. Not sure why some said this is difficult to cook. I wish our city would bring it back as it was our favorite take home meal. Also love the chicken Alfredo and the taco meals. We usually buy some fresh sushi grade yellow fin tuna to add as an additional protein option to the chicken tacos. Costco is great for take home meals and I love the break every once in a while to making my homemade meals.

  2. OMG, the Bulgogi beef is so delicious to me! I could have it morning noon & night! It is a bit pricey, so buy it as a treat when it is $8 off. Indeed best when seared on a single layer…you can pull apart more easily once its started to cook. You can have with rice/veggies or just a big bowl by itself!

  3. I add fresh mushrooms during cooking. The water from the mushrooms lets me drain the excess sauce (salt) from the final product before serving. Plus it adds some mushrooms. I will try adding onions and peppers next time as it is currently on sale at $8 off per tray.

  4. Can’t disagree with these reviews more. I buy this item on a regular basis and love it as well as all my guests love it as well. I will be purchasing again on Monday. It’s flavorful, juicy, tender and just plain wonderful! I actually cook my meals often from scratch and consider myself a great chef.

  5. This is one of our favourite Costco take home kits, but we do find most of the kits kind of middling Like you said, the cooking instructions could be better. Hotter heat plus even a wider cooking surface would greatly improve the final dish. There’s just wayyyy too much meat in one tray for one wok/pan.

    We also find the amount of onions to be lacking. We normally cook half a tray at a time and will add 2 peppers and 2 onions, all sliced, to better align with the type of bulgogi we get from Korean restaurants. The peppers and onions work so well with the beef, but I wouldn’t consider them your side veggie.

    Thank you for sharing your review and the nutrition info!

  6. The conversion works out to CA$ 10.44/lb, which is US$ 7.71/lb.

    Is this a pre-cooked offering? If so, has anyone just heated it in a microwave and put it on a bun like other BBQ?

  7. This item definitely needs to be cooked over the flame. Either on an outdoor grill or indoor one, as they do in the restaurants. The heat will caramelize the sugar so it balances out with the salty savoriness of the marinated meat. The hard part is to unravel every piece of meat so they are one layer thick, otherwise you end up with lots of uncaramelized surfaces.

    The last time I went to a Korean BBQ, the server cooked the meat for us. It sat on the grill for longer than my of my fellow diners were willing to wait (whom were Korean) and they started eating it. I told them to wait because it has to caramelize, and when it was eventually deemed ready by the server many minutes later, it made a world’s of difference.

    Costco uses chuck roll for the meat, instead of the usual ribeye, irregardless, the fat should have melted off and flavors the meat, not sure about the gristle. Costco should have not used that section of the chuck roll. Ribeye would probably be better, but it usually is not too marbled and one ends up with a piece that is too big a mouthful.

    When my Korean wife cooks this, it is over a skillet or griddle, and usually ends up looking like yours. She’s not crazy about the taste when cooked that way, I definitely don’t prefer it, so we don’t get it too often.

  8. I’ve read several of your costco pre-made food reviews and I’m very impressed that you are straight up, impartial and tell-it-like-it-is. Nothing worse than someone peeing on your leg and trying to tell you it’s raining:) Keep up the excellent work and thank you!

  9. By all accounts, it would appear that Costco is choosing to use the cheapest cut of meats that it can for many of these pre-made meals.

    it looks anything but appetizing and seems to be relatively expensive. I think that they are using the sugar to cover up the taste, or lack thereof of the beef.

  10. I agree completely with your review. As an alternative, I buy the super thin-sliced beef at Costco, and I have bottled Bulgogi sauce. So I put some olive oil in a pan, and add some onions, bell pepper, mushrooms. Cook those for a few minutes and then add the thinly-sliced beef and the sauce. I fry that 2 to 3 minutes until I get some nice caramelization. I think this tastes good and is probably half the cost of the prepared version.

  11. I don’t know if this is a fair review. You definitely cooked it too long and I believe that will impact your experience. I did a fast sear on a very hot pan for 2 minutes on each side and I also tried to spread out the slices to get even contact with the pan. It definitely had to be done in a few batches. But because it was like 4 minutes per batch it wasn’t so bad. I think the convenience comes from the fact that its already it’s already thinly sliced and its premarinated. I served it with Broccollini (from Costco) and simple white rice. You need something green to cut through the richness of the sauce.


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